CMU graduate unemployment rate increases 8 percent in past 10 years
A college degree, especially in the arts, does not come with a guarantee of future employment in students’ fields of study.
Depending on his or her major, Central Michigan University students enter into very different job markets. A recent survey shows that students often end up working in areas outside of their specialization.
The highest employment rate is for those majoring in business, which had 93 percent of students surveyed find employment in their field. The lowest rate is for students majoring in liberal and applied arts, where only 74 percent of students surveyed found employment in their field.
CMU’s unemployment rate six months after graduation for students with bachelor’s degrees has increased approximately 8 percent in the past 10 years.
The employment numbers for CMU graduates are not completely accurate, since only approximately 35 percent of graduates typically reply to the survey. The actual percentages are probably lower.
“Most of the students who do (reply) are those who are very excited to share the job they have gotten, or those who haven’t gotten anything,” said Julia Sherlock, director of career services.
Students are sent email surveys six months after graduation, and if they do not reply, a paper copy is sent.
In 2000-01, 93 percent of CMU grads with bachelor’s degrees found employment or went onto graduate school six months after graduation. In the 2009-10 school year only 85 percent of students who graduated found employment or continued to graduate school, according to a survey conducted by the office of Career Services.
While there has been a significant drop between the job placement rates in the decade between the 2000-01 and the 2009-10 graduating classes, the 2009-10 job placement rates are down less than two percent from the 2008-09 school year when 86 percent of graduates found employment or continued on to graduate school.
Rudy Barron, 2011 graduate, was able to quickly find a job using his accounting degree.
“The job security was part of the reason I took the job,” Barron said. “I always knew I wanted to go into business, and if I got an accounting degree it was a good base to build off of.”
Saginaw senior John Ketchum said he is worried about finding a job after graduating in December because of the current economic climate.
Ketchum, graduating with a degree in broadcasting and cinematic arts, said he believes his experience from numerous internships, including National Public Radio, will help him obtain a job.
“Getting a full-time job in journalism is definitely going to be hard,” Ketchum said. “I will most likely work for two to three years, then go to graduate school and get certified to teach.”
Sherlock still believes that a CMU degree is indispensable, and students can still find jobs if they take advantage of the opportunities offered to them.
“A degree is an investment in yourself and it’s something that no one can take away from you,” she said.
- CM Life Senior Reporter Ben Harris contributed to this article.
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